A new community facility and visitor centre, designed by Shauna Cameron Architect, on the Isle of Luing, one of Scotland’s slate islands in Argyll and Bute has won the Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards 2016. The awards were presented on Tuesday 22nd March at The Lighthouse in Glasgow.
The centre was developed to spearhead sustainable development on the island. It opened in the summer of 2015 and has quickly become established as a focal point for community life. The centre is a sustainable and inspiring example of community-led regeneration on a small island. It has greatly improved the quality of life on the island of Luing and made it a more attractive place to live, work and visit.
Judges’ comments: “The Centre is a model of community engagement, benefit and cohesion. The beautiful island of Luing and its strong community have got behind this transformative project which has provided jobs, increased tourism and given the island a focal point for meeting, talking and sharing. It is an example of civic society in action, on a small scale but with imagination, passion and, above all, determination in the face of many challenges. The Atlantic Islands Centre is a worthy winner of the My Place Awards 2016”
Louis Wall, nominated by South West Railway Adopters Gardening Group, won the Civic Champion award. Six years ago Louis noticed his local station, Stranraer, was lacking in colour and life so, with approval, he set about transforming it with imaginative and colourful plants. Since then, he has achieved plantings at 20 stations in the South West of Scotland with the involvement and support of many volunteers, local groups, communities and schools. He works long days to achieve his objectives: making the stations of South West Scotland bloom with vibrant colour.
John Pelan, Director of the Scottish Civic Trust said: “This is the seventh year of the My Place Awards. It has grown from being a modest celebration of placemaking, heritage and people to become a remarkable record of achievement and a celebration of Scotland’s heritage and places, old and new. This year, we received a record number of entries in both categories – 28 projects as well as 14 individuals put forwards as civic champions. Nominations were made by local civic trusts, community councils, heritage organisations and other voluntary groups”
Ian Gilzean, Scottish Government Chief Architect said: “The My Place Awards demonstrate the way in which well-considered buildings, places and activities can make an immense difference to life within communities. These projects provide far more than physical facilities, they are conduits for social interaction and they help to build the kind of connections that strengthen communities. They show the importance of approaches to place which consider people first.
The Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards scheme is unique in Scotland as it is a national celebration of good local design and conservation as nominated and evaluated by local people. It is not an industry award. Its aim is to identify projects or buildings that have had a positive impact in a local neighbourhood and have delivered positive benefits to that community. Entries in all categories will be assessed on their architectural, heritage and/or place making benefits. The Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards are supported by the Scottish Government and were established in 2010.